Tag Archives: Veggies

Stuffed artichoke casserole

This recipe, courtesy of one of my culinary sisters, is one of the weirdest recipes I make. I KNOW it looks odd, but trust me it’s an easy, delicious, healthy pantry dish. It’s also one of my favorite go-to recipes when I need a veggie side and don’t have anything in the veggie drawer or in the garden.

2 cans french-style green beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans Hearts of artichoke (in water), cut in quarters

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1/4 C water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 C.  bread crumbs

1 cup parmesan  (3/4 for recipe and 1/4 for sprinkling on top)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon Tony C’s cajun seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute onions in oil. When soft, add  garlic, Tony’s and thyme. Cook for one minute, until fragrant.
  2. Add  green beans to onion and mash it up finely with a fork
  3. Add bread crumbs, 3/4 C cheese and  artichoke. Once mixed, stir in water, lemon juice and zest.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into pyrex or similar casserole dish (I use an old oval one)
  5. Cover with foil and cook 1/2 hour @ 350
  6. Remove from oven, uncover, sprinkle with cheese and cook until top is browned, about 10 min

Roasted beet salad

I lurve beets + goat cheese. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s spectacular. The bright, earthy sweetness of the beets, mixed with the creamy tang of the goat cheese. Plus, it is soooo pretttty. That’s “pretty” with 4 t’s.

Anyway, aside from loving the flavor combo/plate appeal, I love this dish because it is easy, impactful and great for serving a group. Check it out:

3  medium beets

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Goat cheese (amount depends on how high you stack them, how much you like goat cheese- just buy a log)

Greens or microgreens (optional and amount varies)

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1  teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rinse the beets and trim off any leafy tops. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Once cool, remove beets from packets, reserving oil. Remove beet skins by simply scrubbing with a paper towel. It should just slip off. This is messy work, though. Consider gloves. Set aside peeled beets.
  3. Whisk the mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Gradually 2 T of the reserved beet oil. Season with salt and pepper. The dressing should be pretty tangy and a pretty color.
  4. Slice the beets into even 1/4 inch slices. Start building stacks by placing a larger slice of beet on the plate. Add a circular slice of goat cheese and press out until roughly the size of the beet. If you didn’t get a big enough slice the first time, just nab a bit more. Top with a slightly smaller beet slice, press down and repeat until you have several layers.
  5. If using greens, toss with a small amount of dressing and a bit of lemon juice and scatter around plate or under beet stacks. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Carrot mac & cheese

This is the lighter, healthier version. I promise you that you would never guess that this creamy, deliciousness has so little fat and dairy in it. I wish I had a million recipes like this one. Sigh.

3/4 lb carrots, peeled and sliced thin

1/2  Cup orange juice

4  oz sharp cheddar, grated

3 Cups (~9oz) rigatoni or other large pasta

1 T fresh tarragon (chopped) or 1.5 teaspoons dry tarragon

Salt & Pepper

  1. Put carrots and orange juice in a pot with a lid. Add as much water as necessary to cover the carrots. Season with a sprinkling of salt, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender (~30 min). If the carrots start to dry out before tender, just add a bit of water.
  2. Puree carrots and liquid until smooth. Note that steps 1 & 2 can be done 1-2 days ahead
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Using a pyrex measuring cup or similar, remove 1 Cup pasta water before draining.
  4. Drain pasta. Combine carrot puree and half of water in empty pot. Over very low heat, stir until completely combined and add cheese and tarragon. Stir until combined into creamy cheese sauce.
  5. Add pasta, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Quick gazpacho

I don’t have a picture, but (as a friend pointed out) it’s a good time to post this recipe. We’re finally getting to that point of the year, in Texas at least, where we can get great tomatoes. My little tomatoes aren’t quite there yet, but they’re getting closer every day…check it out:

Anyway, this a great easy recipe that you can make in the food processor. Even though I’m letting a machine do most of the work, it looks much prettier at the end if you mince a small portion of the veggies by hand.  That’s not officially in the recipe, but it really is better.

3 ripe medium beefsteak tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch pieces
2 small cucumbers, one peeled and the other with skin on, both seeded and cut into rough 1-inch pieces
1/2 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium toes garlic,  pressed through
2 teaspoons table salt
1/3 cup vinegar (sherry is best, but red wine vinegar works too)
ground black pepper
5 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 Cup ice cubes
EVOO for serving
  1. Process tomatoes in food processor fitted with steel blade until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses; transfer to large bowl.
  2. Process peppers until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses; add to bowl with tomatoes. Repeat with cucs.
  3. Process onions until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses. Set onions aside in a separate bowl and add the garlic, salt, vinegar, and ground pepper to taste. Let sit 15 minutes, then stir in tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and let stand 5 more minutes, until vegetables just begin to release their juices.
  4. Stir in tomato juice, hot pepper sauce, if using, and ice cubes; cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours.
  5. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, remove and discard any unmelted ice cubes, and serve cold, drizzling each portion with about 1 teaspoon EVOO. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 5 days


A big container of tabouli is pretty much a constant fixture at the Feferdome. It’s healthy and so yummy- just great, bright flavors. Give it a shot, people!

1 Cup Bulgur wheat (I like Arrowhead Mills)

1/2 Cup boiling water

1 teaspoon table salt

1/4 Cup lemon juice

1/4 Cup EVOO

1 pint cherry tomatoes- halved, sprinkled with 1/2 t salt and set over colander to drain for 30 min

2 cucumbers- peeled, seeded and diced

2 Cups mint- washed, picked, and minced

3 Cups parsley – washed, picked, and minced

  1. Pour boiling water over tabouli mixed with salt. Cover with Saran and let sit on counter for 30 min.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Cover and rest in fridge for 2-3 hours.
  3. While tabouli is resting, prep your veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, parsely and mint).  I cut my tomatoes and cucs by hand, but process the mint and parsley in the food processer.
  4. Once tabouli is fully rested, stir in all veggies and let marinate at least 30 more minutes (in fridge or in counter). Adjust seasoning with S&P and serve!

Veggie fried rice…for breakfast

I was so pleased with the ginger and leek fried rice I made earlier this year, that I thought I’d try a variation for breakfast. I’m always trying to find ways to bring veggies into breakfast, but I get sick of omelets. I had some leftover white rice and tons of different veggies, so I thought I’d give it a shot. This is a very loose recipe, so just play with it.

1/2 Cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 Cup carrots, diced

1 Cup spinach, cut into strips or chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 toes garlic, pressed through

1 inch ginger, grated

1 T soy

1 T hoisin sauce

2 t chili sauce

1 t sesame oil

4 eggs

2 Cups leftover white rice

1 T roasted peanut oil (or whatever…that stuff just tastes GOOD)

  1. Heat 1/2 T peanut oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onions, carrots and peppers, and saute until fork tender (soft, but not 100% done).
  2. Make a small well in the center of the pan and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant (~30 seconds) and then stir into veggie mixture. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Allow the spinach to wilt a bit (1-2 min) and then set aside mixture in a small bowl. No need to wipe out the skillet.
  3. Add remaining peanut oil to empty pan and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add rice and distribute in an even layer. Cook without turning for ~1-2 minutes. This will allow some of the rice to crisp up a bit. YUM. Pour in the soy, hoisin, chili and sauces, as well as the sesame oil. Stir to distribute and allow to heat through (1-2 min more).
  4. Add the veggie mixture and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning (salt, pepper, maybe a bit more soy or some rice wine vinegar for tartness). Serve into 4 bowls.
  5. With the heat still on medium high, crack 4 eggs into the skillet. If your pan isn’t big enough, you may need to work in batches of two. Once the outside is set, cover with a lid to allow the yolk to set some without flipping. Cook eggs sunny side up. When cooked, place an egg on the rice, dot with Schriracha sauce (if you like delicious hotness) and serve.

Parmesan buerre blanc

This sauce is excellent with artichokes and (I think) would be great with a sturdier fish. I loved it. A+

½ cup dry white wine
8Tbsp. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup finely grated parmesan, or more to taste
1 t lemon, or more to taste
S & P

  1. Pour the wine into a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by half.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and whisk in the butter a couple of pieces at a time.
  3. Whisk in the Parmesan. Taste, and adjust with lemon juice, salt and pepper or more Parmesan, as needed.

More than the sum of its parts

I made a really yummy dinner on Tuesday night. Not an A+, but a solid A. The thing is, I wouldn’t really give any of the individual dishes a great grade, but it just all worked together. Funny how that works. I tried a few new recipes and would only make a few of them again…or rather, I would only make that exact version of those recipes again. A  few tweaks might save the day. Anyway, here’s how it looked:

The dressing on the butternut squash salad was really good, but more importantly was really thick. It gave me a good idea how to thicken up Liza’s tahini dressing.

The French carrot salad is never the most delicious thing in the whole world, but it is easy, fast, healthy, really good and gorgeous on a plate.

I almost got the artichoke right…FINALLY. I think if I just trim the top a little less this time, we’re there. The dipping sauce was sick delicious. It would be great on fish. This sauce is officially in my recipe book now.

I’m trying to broaden the array of veggies and fruits that live in my fridge/on my counter/eventually in my belly. This roasted rhubarb was pretty darn good and I’ve loved having it with yogurt for breakfast. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but I dug it. Next time, I’m cutting the pieces a bit smaller and roasting it uncovered. Maybe that will keep it from turning into a stringy goop.

Cauliflower with browned butter

We went out to dinner at Justine’s (YUM) the other night with some friends and family. Someone mentioned that their father-in-law made the most delicious cauliflower dish with browned butter. He steams the entire head whole and then just drizzles in with deeply browned butter. He serves it whole and everyone just cuts off their own piece.

So, I had some leftover cauliflower from my hubby’s delicious crudite platter (curry dip with tons of veggies), I thought I would try a variation of that recipe. This is not a “real” recipe, but it’s so easy that I don’t mind cheating a little.

1. Steam cauliflower florets under fork tender, but not mushy

2. At the same time, brown some butter  until amber and nutty. A few notes on this step…

  • The amount of butter will vary depending on how much cauliflower you have. I would brown more than you think you need and just set aside the excess. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find another use.
  • Always brown butter in a “regular” steel pot or pan. Non-stick is too dark to gauge the browning process and you’re far more likely to burn it.
  • Always use unsalted butter when browning. It browns better and tastes better.

3.  Toss cauliflower with browned butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Creamy Israeli cous-cous with shallots and spinach

This dish was an insanely delicious child of invention. I needed a side dish and had half a bag of spinach, some parrano cheese and a shallot.

1 Cup Israeli (pearl) cous-cous

1 1/4 C chicken broth or water + appropriate amount bouillon

1 1/2 t EVOO

1 shallot

1 T French herb mix (Bonne herbe or Bouquet Garni)

1/2 bag baby spinach

1/4 C milk

1/4 grated flavorful cheese, like Edam, Parrano or Gruyere

  1. Bring broth or water + bouillon to a boil. Stir in cous-cous and 1/2 t spinach. Cover and cook on med-low heat for 8-10 minutes, until liquid is almost entirely absorbed and cous-cous is creamy and cooked through. Stir occasionally.
  2. While cous-cous cooks, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add shallots, sliced thin in half moons. Cook until tender, but not brown. Stir in spinach, roughly chopped, and French herbs.  Stir to mix and cook covered until wilted (~3 minutes)
  3. When cous-cous is cooked and spinach is wilted, combine in pot or pan (which ever is bigger). Stir in milk and grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Eat it up!